Can “swagger” be “bullet-proof?” Ask Jonathan Papelbon.

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This is quote of the day territory, but it’s a bit early and lots of players will be talking to the media today, so we’ll hold off on giving it any awards.

Jonathan Papelbon talked yesterday about how he’s approaching 2011.  The key for him is focus.  Well, not exactly, because he kept saying that “focus” is the wrong word.  But it is something about his mental approach:

He said it. He admitted the swagger was missing. He was asked about that. “It’s here, yeah,” he said. “It’s here, but I’m talking about building it here in Fort Myers and through spring training, building it up and taking into the season with a swagger that is bullet-proof.”

He paused.

“Does that make sense?” he asked.

Well, considering that no one has ever satisfactorily explained the concept of “swagger” to me that wasn’t necessarily ex-post-facto — no one who loses or fails ever has “swagger” — no, it does not make much sense.

All I know for sure is that if all of this means that Papelbon is going to be more demonstrative and fist-pumpy on the mound this year than he usually is, God help us all.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.